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Hawaii Youth Symphony to Offer Small In-Person and Online Classes

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Hawaii Youth Symphony announces a reimagined return of its Pacific Music Institute (PMI), offering both small in-person and online classes for 2021. Students from Hawaii and across the globe will learn from renowned faculty and connect with new friends at the worldwide summer music camp this July.

Areas of study include Solo & String Quartet, Double Bass Workshop, Wind, Brass & Percussion Clinics, and the Summer Jazz Intensive, each running July 5-11. New for 2021: An Ukulele Workshop with the legendary Jake Shimabukuro offered July 14-17. Small in-person classes follow strict safety protocols, with instruction held at the spacious Hawaii Convention Center.

Online options hosted through the PMI+ platform will be available to accommodate Hawaii, U.S. mainland, and international students, with all PMI students—including those opting for in-person instruction—encouraged to participate in these online masterclasses. PMI+ provides an intensive 6-day learning experience featuring classes taught by celebrated musicians from around the globe, as well as insights on performance anxiety management, improvisation, and how to build a social media presence as a budding musician. Students will also participate in online rehearsals for a newly commissioned work inspired by Hawaii, and those based outside the islands will have opportunities to learn more about Hawaiian culture. PMI+ access is included with all in-person programs.

“We are beyond grateful for the continued support of our community and the perseverance of our students and instructors,” said Randy Wong, President Hawaii Youth Symphony. “It is through the constant dedication and positive actions of our staff and community that we keep our students involved in the art of music during these unconventional times. Our hybrid PMI system was created with the health of our students and faculty in mind, and we are thrilled to watch the summer programming unfold.”

For more than 30 years, PMI has defined premiere musical experiences for young musicians. HYS will continue to grow its partnership with the National Orchestral Institute + Festival, bringing together some of the world’s brightest and most celebrated artist faculty for PMI and PMI+. Under the artistic direction of maestro Joseph Stepec, who also serves as Director of Orchestral Activities for HYS, PMI 2021 boasts a roster of distinguished faculty from Hawaii and beyond, that includes:

·       Drew Forde – Accomplished strings performer based out of Los Angeles, known online as ThatViolaKid


·       John Gallagher – Acting Principal Bass, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra; leading PMI Double Bass Workshop

·       Iggy Jang – Concertmaster Hawaii Symphony Orchestra; leading PMI Solo & String Quartet program

·       Toby Oft – Principal Trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; PMI Alumnus

·       Jake Shimabukuro – Ukulele virtuoso and composer; leading PMI Ukulele Workshop

·       Dean Taba – Director HYS Jazz & Combo I; leading PMI Summer Jazz Intensive


To view the full PMI faculty list, visit: www.pacificmusichi.org/faculty.

PMI students should have at least two years’ experience on their respective instruments (some exceptions may be possible for the Ukulele Workshop, although space is extremely limited). HYS is now accepting applications for students entering grades 6-12 for the following PMI programs: 

·       SESSION 1, July 5 – 11, 2021: Student cohorts will be assigned a single coach, room, and restroom for instruction at the Hawaii Convention Center. Local faculty will assist with in-person instruction, and mainland faculty will assist in the online programming. All PMI students may attend the online sessions.

o   SOLO & STRING QUARTET PROGRAM: For violin, viola, and cello students to learn chamber music and perform. No prior chamber music experience is necessary to participate. 

o   DOUBLE BASS WORKSHOP: This workshop provides orchestral bass students an opportunity to play in a small chamber ensemble led by John Gallagher, Acting Principal Bass of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. 


o   WIND, BRASS & PERCUSSION CLINICS: Students will learn intermediate/advanced techniques unique to their instrument in small chamber ensembles. Open to all band instruments.

o   SUMMER JAZZ INTENSIVE: Students will develop skills to improvise and play in a jazz combo. Open to piano, guitar, bass drum set, saxophone, trumpet, and trombone students. No jazz experience required.

·       SESSION 2, July 14 – 17, 2021:

o   UKULELE WORKSHOP WITH JAKE SHIMABUKURO: Students will learn about fret board navigation, rhythm and strumming, achieving a good tone, and basic music theory concepts. Performance video to be featured at the 51st Ukulele Festival Hawaii.

PMI 2021 will culminate in a joyful celebration of music with a Virtual E-Festival, slated for Saturday, July 31, 2021 (Sunday, August 1, 2021 in Asia) showcasing performances from students and faculty.

HYS strives to make music a right, not a privilege. Financial aid and scholarships are available for qualified families, and those interested should download the financial aid application from the HYS website and submit by May 3, 2021. While typical dormitory lodging is not available at this time due to safety protocols, HYS is pleased to announce a partnership with the new ʻAlohilani Resort Waikiki Beach for PMI 2021 to provide accommodation options for visiting families. An exclusive PMI attendee rate will be generously offered as space permits, with additional information available at https://www.pacificmusichi.org/accommodations/.

To enroll and learn more about PMI’s opportunities for every student this summer, you may visit: www.pacificmusichi.org

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